what Loving and loving are all about

I don’t feel quite right about focusing more on Cheerios than on the Lovings yesterday.  Perhaps I did it because this is the 4th Loving Day that I’ve had this blog so felt that I’d covered that already. Or, perhaps I did it because I knew I had this one in store for today.  This article, written by the Rev. Jacqueline J. Lewis (Ph.D/black woman married to a white man/woman of color and of God who stands for equal rights for all re:gay marriage) for the Huffington Post Religion blog, is all about liberty and justice for all.  On a good day I’m all about liberty and justice for all!  That there’s a place called “Middle Church” makes my heart swell.  I want to go to there.  I love knowing that Reverend Lewis exists.  I find inspiration in that knowing.  I love knowing what Mildred Loving thought and how she felt about life and love and equality, and am inspired by that too.

Let’s encourage one another to stop saying no to love.  Let’s encourage love in whatever form it arises.  Let us love that.

P.S. I also love that Willy Wonka meme, yet I have no idea what Mr. Wonka has to do with this, if anything.  That was my own find on the world wide web, not part of the Reverend’s article. Just for the record.

P.P.S. It is nearly impossible to be depressed and inspired at the same time, so let us also encourage one another to be inspired.  Or, even better, start living an inspired life yourself and watch the inspiration and the health of your community grow.

Making Love Legal

Senior Minister, Middle Collegiate Church

Posted: 06/07/2013

Central Point, Virginia. 1958: Richard and Mildred Loving jailed. Their crime: marriage. He was white. She was black. “We were married on the second day of June. And the police came after us the fourteenth day of July,” Mildred Loving said in the documentary “The Loving Story” (HBO, 2011).

An anonymous tip sent police to their house in the middle of the night. Making love was a crime, too, for people of different races. The police found them sleeping. They were arrested for “cohabitating as man and wife, against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth.” Their marriage was illegal in 24 states in 1958.

Richard and Mildred pled guilty, and received a one-year prison sentence, which would be suspended if they left Virginia. They moved to Washington, D.C., sneaking home to see family and friends. Mildred wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy who referred her to the A.C.L.U. Richard told their lawyer, “Mr. Cohen, tell the court I love my wife, and it is just unfair that I can’t live with her in Virginia.”

Love was not enough to mitigate the racial fear and hatred that resisted their union. It was not enough to unravel the complicated narrative of white supremacy that led to segregation, to Jim Crow and anti-miscegenation laws.

In Loving v. Virginia, the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous decision held that the prohibition of biracial marriage was unconstitutional. Chief Justice Earl Warren and the other justices claimed that “Marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man,’ fundamental to our very existence and survival … Under our constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.”

No matter what society asserts about race, no matter what religious institutions teach about race and no matter the ethnicity of the couple, marriage is a basic civil right.

The Supreme Court changed the narrative, changed the story. And it changed the culture. According to Pew Research study of married couples (February 2012), the share of interracial couples reached an all-time high of 8.4 percent. In 1980, that share was just 3.2 percent.

The narrative of homophobia in our nation is also complicated and tragic. The culture has shaped it, religious institutions have often reinforced it, and fear feeds it. I believe that no matter what the culture asserts, adults have the civil right to marry, no matter their sexual orientation.

gay marriage is illegal so was interracial wonka

And I believe this is also true: Wherever love is, God is. The writer of 1 John says, “God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us.” I think it is important for congregations that teach “God is love” to also affirm the marriage of same-gender loving couples. They should have the civil right to marry and their love should be blessed in our churches.

On Sunday, June 9 at 6 p.m., at Middle Church, my white husband and I will celebrate Loving Day (celebrated nationally on June 12) and the landmark case that gave us the right to marry and live with each other. We will celebrate in hope that the Supreme Court will once again change the story, that it will rule on Prop 8 and DOMA in such a way that all couples have the right to marry in every state in our union.

Original gospel music by Broadway and television actor Tituss Burgess will be performed and there will be a renewal of vows for straight and gay couples. Burgess (Jersey BoysThe Little MermaidGuys and Dolls and 30 Rock), Alyson Palmer (of BETTY, whose music has been heard on The L-WordUgly Betty and Weeds), and Broadway’s Jenny Powers (Grease and Little Women) will solo at the event. Middle Church stands for the freedom of all couples to legally marry. During the commitment ceremony, all couples — no matter their ethnicity, or their gender or sexuality — can renew or make new vows to each other. We will celebrate loving, because we know for sure that love heals. Come and bring someone special with you!

Commenting on the similarities between interracial and same-sex marriage in 2007, Mildred Loving said,

I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry … I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight, seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That is what Loving and loving are all about.

Amen, and may it be so.

loving

…and then

It happens to be Loving Day which is what prompted me to finally get around to posting about the Cheerios.  Happy Loving Day! Interracial Marriage (black/white) has been legal for a grand total of….46 years!  That’s only ten more years than I have existed!  So in the grand scheme, if there is still a small to medium segment of the population who simply has not taken advantage of any opportunity to grow out of this debilitating mindset, well, that’s only to be expected… and it’s too bad for them… and absolutely ok with me actually.  Love people where they are, right?

4-up on 6-12-13 at 7.32 PM #5 (compiled)

4-up on 6-12-13 at 7.26 PM #5 (compiled)

Here’s a nice article that brings together the Cheerios and the Lovings.

Opinion: The importance of ‘Loving’ in the face of racism

Editor’s note: June 12 is the 46th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia,  which made interracial marriage legal in the United States.  Thousands of people nationwide celebrate that anniversary as “Loving Day’.  Ken Tanabe is the founder and president of Loving Day, an international, annual celebration that aims to build multicultural community and fight racial prejudice through education. He is a speaker on multiracial identity, community organizing and social change through design. 

By Ken Tanabe, Special to CNN

(CNN) – Racism is alive and well in 2013, and what’s striking is the recent notable examples aimed at interracial couples – or one of their children.

Even breakfast cereal commercials aren’t safe. A recent Cheerios ad depicting an interracial couple and their multiracial child got so many racist remarks on YouTube that the company had to disable the comments.

There is nothing out of the ordinary about the commercial, except that the parents happen to be an interracial couple.

But the truth is, racially blended families are becoming more ordinary every day, due to the 1967 Supreme Court decision that declared all laws against interracial marriage unconstitutional. 

Opinion: Two different marriage bans, both wrong.

Today is the 46th anniversary of that decision, and one in seven new marriages in the United States is interracial or interethnic.  Multiracial Americans are the fastest-growing youth demographic.

Number of interracial couples in U.S. reaches all-time high:

While the negative comments about the Cheerios commercial made it newsworthy, there were also many others who showed their support for the Cheerios brand.

Multiracial Americans of Southern California, a multiethnic community group, started a Facebook album for people to post photos of themselves holding a box of Cheerios. And in articles and in social media, supporters expressed gratitude to General Mills for depicting a multiracial family.

The weddings of two multiracial couples from high-profile families also prompted racist comments online. Lindsay Marie Boehner, daughter of House Speaker John Boehner, married Dominic Lakhan, a black Jamaican man. And Jack McCain, son of Sen. John McCain, married Renee Swift, a woman of color.

The reaction to these marriages is reminiscent of the response to the marriage of Peggy Rusk – the daughter of then-Secretary of State Dean Rusk – and Guy Smith, a black man. In 1967, interracial marriage was a cover story, several months after laws against interracial marriage were struck down.

Things have changed since then, but not enough.

In a 2011 Gallup poll, 86% of Americans approved of “marriage between blacks and whites.”  In 1958, the approval rating was 4%. But it makes me wonder: What do the other 14% of Americans think? Apparently, many of them spend a lot of time leaving comments online.

The election of Barack Obama inspired many of us to hope that widespread racism was a relic of the past.

And while he was elected to a second term, we must not be complacent when it comes to racism in our daily lives. We must seek out opportunities to educate others about the history of our civil rights.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wished that his children would “one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”  I wonder what he would think of our collective progress as the 50th anniversary of his “I Have a Dream” speech approaches.

On June 15th, the 10th annual Loving Day Flagship Celebration in New York City will draw an expected 1,500 guests. And while many participants are multiracial, anyone can host a Loving Day Celebration for friends and family, and make it a part of their annual traditions.

We need to work collectively to fight prejudice through education and build a strong sense of multiethnic community. If we do, one day we might live in a nation where the racial identities of politicians’ children’s spouses are no longer national news, and cereal commercials are more about cereal than race.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Ken Tanabe.

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Mildred and Richard Loving

Peggy, Sidney, and Donald Loving playing, April, 1965

 Peggy, Sidney, and Donald Loving playing April 1965

no h8

This is so right on!  Thank you, Karen Finney.  I’m so glad my (white)grandparents allowed me in to their lives.  And so are they! It’s the “little” things…

On another note, this sentence, “the very existence of antimiscegenation laws had been enacted for the purpose of perpetuating the idea of white supremacy,” speaks to the very reason I fell down this rabbit hole I’ll now call the mulatto trail.  I realized one day that anti-miscegenation and the one-drop rule perpetuate the idea of white supremacy, and that by subscribing to that antiquated rule I was upholding that ridiculous notion.  The anti-miscegenation thing has legally been eradicated, but ask any interracial couple who has walked down a street together, and I’m sure they’ll tell you that on more than one occasion they’ve been given the evil-eye or gawked as if they were freaks of nature.  Or both.  And as for the one-drop rule, head on over to my youtube channel, scroll through the comments, and you’ll see that it looms large in the consciousness.  And many people don’t seem to be willing to let it go.

California Prop 8 Gay Marriage Ruling a Win For American Values

By KAREN FINNEY

SOURCE

Yesterday’s ruling that California’s Proposition 8 is unconstitutional reaffirms a long-held American value that no matter how you try to spin it, separate is not equal. While some may not agree with same-sex marriage, history should remind us that our Constitution calls us to recognize that the laws in it apply equally, not to be picked apart to support a political agenda or bias. The arguments being used against same sex marriage are frighteningly similar and equally offensive as those once used against interracial marriage. While a Gallup poll in 1967 found that 74 percent of Americans disapproved of interracial marriage, it’s almost hard to remember just how far we’ve come.

I was 16 years old before I was allowed in my grandfather’s home in Greensboro, North Carolina. That’s how long it took for him to even begin to re-think his shame over having a mixed-race granddaughter. He believed, as did many at the time, miscegenation was wrong on moral and legal grounds. Thankfully for me, my parents disagreed. They were married in New York City and had me despite the fact that it was illegal in their home states of Virginia and North Carolina to do so. Thankfully for our country, in the case of Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court saw beyond the fear and bigotry of the moment and ruled that antimiscegenation laws violated fundamental American values of Due Process and Equal Protection Under the Law as guaranteed to every American by our constitution.

Just as some used to say that marriage is only valid between a white man and white woman, some now argue that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. Arguments have also been made that same-sex marriage dilutes the institution of marriage, just as similar arguments suggested that interracial marriage diluted the white race. My personal favorite absurd justification says that (despite the idea that we are all God’s children and loved equally) gay marriage is against the laws of God and nature. That argument was used by Leon M. Bazile, the judge in the initial case against the Lovings, who said:

Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.

The Supreme Court’s ruling in the Loving case also recognized that the very existence of antimiscegenation laws had been enacted for the purpose of perpetuating the idea of white supremacy:

There is patently no legitimate overriding purpose independent of invidious racial discrimination which justifies this classification. The fact that Virginia prohibits only interracial marriages involving white persons demonstrates that the racial classifications must stand on their own justification, as measures designed to maintain White Supremacy.

Similarly, as Judge Vaughn Walker today affirmed, denying gay couples the right to marry, not only denies basic civil rights, liberty, and freedom, but also codifies bigotry.

Karen FinneyKaren Finney is a political analyst for MSNBC and an independent consultant working with political and corporate clients in the areas of political and communications strategy. She brings over 16 years of experience in national politics and campaigns ranging from the Clinton administration to New York State to the Democratic National Committee.

threat to america’s essential character

I’m loving the ideas raised in this piece reflecting on the Pew Research Center’s report on interracial marriage which I blogged about earlier this week.  Was that this week?  Anyway, I think it’s healthy for white identity to be “threatened”.  I’ve been under the impression that white identity is without definition beyond the color and the perks that come with it.  Perhaps the perceived “threat” will bring about a deepened awareness of the struggle to maintain personal identity in the face of adversity, stereotypes, and societal expectations.  For thoughtful “minorities” this endeavor is par for the course, however it seems to me that the majority of the “majority” do not expend energy grappling with such issues.  By being called upon to do so, a new common ground may be created.  A ground upon which we collectively come together to redefine  “America’s essential character”. Other than that, all I have to say is that I was shocked by the stat that  less than 5% of whites marry outside of their race.  Not because I was under the impression that the number would be large, but because in the last couple of years I’ve witnessed (and am thrilled to be a part of) the blossoming of a community of biracial people who are proud and happy to be such.  Where did we all come from if the numbers are so low!?  I suppose that in the grand scheme of things there still aren’t all that many of us.  I simply went from 0-60 in a flash, so to speak.

U.S. far from an interracial melting pot

By Daniel T. Lichter, Special to CNN

Ithaca, New York (CNN) — According to a recent report by the Pew Research Center, one of every seven new marriages in 2008 was interracial or interethnic — the highest percentage in U.S. history. The media and blogosphere have been atwitter.

Finally, it seems, we have tangible evidence of America’s entry into a new post-racial society, proof of growing racial tolerance. Intermarriage trends are being celebrated as a positive sign that we have come to think of all Americans as, well, Americans.

But others have an entirely different take — a more ominous one. They see increasing interracial marriage rates as proof that the country is amalgamating racially.

To them, intermarriage is a putative threat to whites and America’s essential character. Their concerns are heightened by recent Census Bureau projections that the U.S. will become a majority-minority society by the middle of the century.

My research with Ken Johnson, a demographer at the University of New Hampshire, indicates that for American’s youngest residents, that future is now. Nearly half of U.S.births today are to minority women.

It’s time for everyone — on all sides of this issue — to relax and take a deep breath. The reality is that racial boundaries remain firmly entrenched in American society. They are not likely to go away anytime soon.

We are still far from a melting pot where distinct racial and ethnic groups blend into a multi-ethnic stew.

Indeed, seemingly overlooked in the Pew Report is the finding that less than 5 percent of all married whites have a spouse of a different race or ethnicity. The vast majority of whites today — as in the past — marry other whites.

What is changing are marriage patterns among America’s minorities, but in ways that are not easy to understand or summarize in short news releases. (Pew used the categories of non-Hispanic whites, blacks, Asians, American Indians and Hispanics.)

For example, Pew reports that the share of newly married blacks with spouses of a different race increased threefold between 1980 and 2008. Media accounts have variously trumpeted this as good or bad news for America’s future, depending on the presumptive beliefs and attitudes of their audiences about racial matters.

It is easy to forget the U.S. Supreme Court waited until 1967, in Loving v. Virginia, to outlaw state prohibitions against interracial marriage. Increases in black-white marriages, at least on a percentage basis, are large because baseline numbers are very small.

Romantics like to believe that love is blind. We embrace the idea that falling in love is a product of our emotions rather than rational deliberation. Of course, the empirical evidence suggests otherwise. Love may be blind, but it clearly is not color-blind.

Indeed, for all the hyperventilation, the demographic reality is that only about 15 percent of newly married blacks today became married to whites or other minorities. This is hardly a basis for celebrating a new racial tolerance in America or, if you prefer, for now believing that white identity is rapidly being lost to interracial intimacy and childbearing.

Unfortunately, most of the nation’s headlines ignored Pew’s observation that intermarriage rates with whites actually have declined among Asians and Hispanics since 1980. This is something new.

My research with Julie Carmalt and Zhenchao Qian, to be published in Sociological Forum, documents recent declines in intermarriage rates among U.S.-born Hispanics and Asians after decades-long increases. Declines in intermarriage have been largest among the second generation, the U.S.-born children of immigrant parents.

Among second-generation Hispanics, for example, intermarriages with whites declined by more than one-third between 1995 and 2008. Over the same period, they became more likely to marry Hispanic immigrants.

Since 1980, there has been a fivefold increase in the number of native-born Asian women marrying Asian immigrants.

One explanation is that substantial new immigration has simply expanded the marriage opportunities for native-born Hispanics and Asians. But it is also likely that the extraordinary recent growth of the immigrant population has reinforced a new sense of identity rooted in shared ethnicity and culture. This seems to have encouraged more in-marriage with co-ethnics at the expense of more out-marriage with whites.

Demographers sometimes consider intermarriage to be the final step in the assimilation process, or an indicator of racial boundaries or lack of them. The current retreat from intermarriage among America’s non-black minorities raises new questions about racial and ethnic balkanization in America.

Issues of race and immigration are an important part of the public dialogue.

In today’s highly charged political environment, it is easy to latch onto information that buttresses our own point of view and preconceptions.

Unfortunately, short headlines and easy-to-digest narratives about rising intermarriage rates tend to oversimplify or even distort a complicated statistical story that is still unfolding.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Daniel T. Lichter.


for loving day pt.2

Once again, in honor of Loving Day, I thought it would be interesting to post this peek into the modern day interracial dating scene.  As experience by a black woman in Boston….

Race and dating in Boston

Posted by Meredith Goldstein

QUESTION:

I am a young, black, college-educated professional who has lived in Boston for most of my life. I recently turned 30 and am ready to have a serious relationship with someone special, irrespective of race.

I have dated a few Caucasian and Asian men, and one person from the Middle East. Every one of these encounters ended immediately after they realized that I was expecting more than a sexual relationship (I usually ended it). However, getting to that point was only half the battle. The hardest part was the approach! I think a lot of surprisingly wonderful relationships could be had if people weren’t afraid to step inside or outside of the “crayon box.” There have been many instances where I’ll overhear a white guy telling his friends how “hot” he thinks I am or after having way too many beers obnoxiously yell “I love Black chicks!” Not including the annoying drunk guy — why won’t non-black men approach me if there is physical interest?

And before anyone asks … yes, I date black men. Almost all of my relationships, serious or otherwise, have been within my race. However, I’ve always been open to dating men outside of my race. And due to the reasons previously mentioned, have been unable to do so.

Now back to the second portion of the problem I mentioned earlier. When we get past the “approach” barrier, I then find out that these men were hoping to use me as some sexual guinea pig. I’ve even had one guy tell me that he has a girlfriend but has “always wondered what it would be like to sleep with a pretty black girl.” Needless to say, he did not get the chance to conduct his experiment on me. My other encounters were almost as disappointing. I’ve really clicked with several guys. Had great phone conversations and shared mutual interest in various areas. We’d make each other laugh, talk about work, life goals, family, friends, hobbies, etc … BUT, the conversation would always redirect back to sex…  After realizing that I wanted more than to be their guilty pleasure, I would end it. I’ve had white male friends who I get along with great as friends. Then they would profess some secret crush they had on me over the years. They were apprehensive in pursuing a serious relationship and were more than happy to think we could be friends with benefits. There was never a problem with meeting their friends and family — or being introduced as their good friend. Being introduced or even thought of as their girlfriend, however, was an issue.

I’m left to wonder if non-black men still hold some pre-conceived notion about the ENTIRE species of black women. It escapes me as to why black men are able to easily, quickly, and openly approach and date women outside of their race, yet it’s so difficult and rare for non-black men to do the same with black women. When I go to NY, it’s very common to see mixed race relationships involving black women. But, I almost never see that here in MA. Is it a geographical thing? Is Massachusetts just as conservative when it comes to dating? Why are non-black men afraid to approach black women that they are attracted to? Are we seen as nothing more than “angry black women”….or even sex-crazed video vixens waiting to fulfill some secret chocolate craving?

– Cheyenne

ANSWER:

When I go to NY, it’s very common to see mixed race relationships involving black women.” CNS, I see a lot of things in New York that I just don’t see anywhere else. New York is pretty amazing when it comes to diversity, acceptance, and dating without boundaries. New York also has all-night public transportation and cheap cabs. It’s the concrete jungle where dreams are made of. There’s nothing you can’t do. Compare any city to New York and you’re in trouble. (That said, Go Sox!)

There will always be a lot of people who are only comfortable dating within their race, religion, or tax bracket, no matter where you live. Some of those people are very nice despite their boundaries. There will also be some real idiots out there who see dating outside of the “crayon box” as some sort of exciting science project. Luckily, those people tend to expose themselves pretty quickly by getting drunk and yelling things like, “I love black chicks!” I’m sorry that has happened to you. It’s upsetting and disheartening.

There will also be people who share your goal of finding someone awesome, no matter what color they are or where they come from. They’re out there. Some of those men might be scared to approach you, but that might not have anything to do with race. Some men are afraid of the approach, in general.

I’d add that a lot of your other dating issues… are also pretty typical. Guys who seek friends with benefits, guys who fixate on the hookup portion of a date — that’s all typical Love Letters stuff, isn’t it? I’m not saying that you’re wrong about the “crayon box,” but don’t attribute more to race than you have to.

My advice is to keep dating, approach men who appeal to you, be clear about your intentions, and get to know people well. Someone who cares about you, understands your goals, and has earned your trust isn’t going to want to use you as an experiment or a friend with benefits.

Readers? Is this a Massachusetts thing? How can she approach men outside of her “crayon box” without having to wonder whether they’re taking her seriously? Is race as much of an issue as she thinks it is?

– Meredith

for loving day

Home

It’s Loving Day!  Interracial Marriage has been legal nationwide for an entire 43 years!  Imagine that.  A few days agao CNN.com ran this piece giving us an idea of what people really think about interracial marriage today.  I think it an appropriate post for the occasion.

Your views on interracial marriages

SOURCE

(CNN) — “Interracial/interethnic marriage is a great way of fighting war, hatred and prejudice. Think about it. If we all are mixed, who can we hate?” wrote a reader about a CNN.com story on race and marriage.

That comment was one of the thousands of responses to the story about a new study from the Pew Research Center that found interracial and interethnic marriages are at a record high of about one in seven.

About 14.6 percent of newly married couples reported in 2008 that they married outside their race or ethnicity, according to the Pew report released Friday. In 1980, about 6.8 percent of newlywed couples surveyed said their spouse was of another race or ethnicity.

Overall, reader reactions voiced support for mixed relationships, with many commenters proudly identifying themselves as being in an interracial or interethnic relationship.

“I’ve been happily married in a mixed race marriage for seven years. To anyone who would like to oppose mixed race marriage: What gives you the right? I pay taxes, served in the U.S. military (where I was disabled) and watched all kinds of races die in service to the pledge to protect every American’s freedom. So as far as I’m concerned, blood only has one color: RED, and there’s only one race: the human one,” wrote BeerMan5000.

Reader RippedJeans, a black woman, talked about marrying her white boyfriend of three years. She wrote, “I could not be happier! I love him for the MAN that he is, and I’m truly grateful for having him in my life. Love is colorblind. …”

Danchar821 was also in support of interracial marriages. Reflecting on her personal experience, Danchar821 wrote. “We met online through mutual friends. I went to Mexico every month last year and we were married. I could not be happier. There are cultural differences, but if anything, they have helped me to grow as a person. She is wonderful and so loving and I feel truly blessed and happy. The racism that some people show on here is truly sad. We are expecting our first child — a boy — in September.”

Another couple talked about their wedding ceremony, which celebrated their cultural differences. Reader cellblock131 wrote, “I am Hispanic and married a white woman. … When it came to our wedding, we had a mixture of both cultural practices. For example, my dad read passages in Spanish, then her dad read them in English. The reception had traditional white American dances, plus Mexican in the mix. It was a wonderful wedding.”

One reader identified only as Guest said he won’t date outside his race.

“I care what race the women I date are. I am a white male. I date only white females. Sure there are attractive women in other races but I stick with my own. It’s America land of the free,” wrote Guest.

AntigoneR ignores people’s objections.”I can only speak for myself, but I really don’t care how many people accept or do not accept my interracial relationship. I don’t recall asking their opinion. Having said that, I’m glad to see that the trend in society is more accepting, and that racial barriers are crumbling. I wish it were faster.”

(fwiw: i’m realizing at this very moment that none of these people are American by birth)

One commenter echoed a common view among the Millennial Generation, found in an earlier study this year from the Pew Center that reported 85 percent of 19- to 28-year-olds accept interracial and interethnic relationships. SIR10LY wrote: “It’s 2010. I can’t even believe this is still an issue! If two people love each other, let them be. … If you’re opposed to it, get with the times already!”

Children of mixed marriages also shared their views.

Reader Anex wrote, “Product of an Interracial marriage and darn proud of it! I’m a happy mutt!”

Other readers pointed to the challenges of marrying someone outside their race.

“But one thing the article does not mention is divorce among interracial couples is much higher than same-race couples. Challenges in understanding, family relations and pressures overall are higher. People should know what they’re getting into,” warned a reader.

WHATRU wrote, “I’m an Arab, my husband is white. It gets more complicated after you have kids. The cultures and beliefs are just too different. It is easier to marry your own kind.”

Reader Toadlife wrote that racial discrimination can also be difficult. “Race matters because racial discrimination continues to happen all around us to this day. If you think otherwise, you are naive and probably white and have all white relatives. Thankfully, we’ve come to a point in our society where race is not a determining factor in one’s fate, but it can still be an obstacle from time to time,” Toadlife wrote.

Reader nal4america said her decision about whom to date is influenced by what race she grew up with. “I’m of West Indian decent and I grew up in a small town in Utah. I am so used to dating outside of my race that I don’t even date men of my race simply because I am not attracted to them. I think the environment you grow up in plays a huge factor in the mate you select. I am 95 percent certain my husband will be of a race other than my own and that’s fine because I believe in the American Race.”

Native Americans had yet another take on the situation.

“… [T]here can never truly be justice and real harmony on stolen land … just like there can never be peace and harmony in a house that’s been burglarized and its inhabitants marginalized and oppressed … ask an Apache or Navaho or black American if they are happy to live in a society dominated by white people. The indigenous were here for many thousands of years before the Europeans destroyed the culture and lands of the indigenous almost worldwide,” wrote hotepk. “…What must happen is either they go back to Europe or pay restitution — like any other convict guilty of a crime — otherwise there will continue to be struggle.”

Ndngirl2010 responded: @hotepk–I am full blooded Navajo and I’m fine with living alongside whites and get this –*gasp*– I married one! A majority of my family doesn’t harbor any animosity toward any other race. Let bygones be bygones and, instead, focus on the future.”

The readers who responded to CNN’s coverage on the Pew Research Center study seemed to acknowledge the growing blurring of races and ethnicities.

Reader HalfBaked shared: “My wife’s biological mother is Filipino/Mexican and her biological father is Scottish. She was adopted at birth into a German-Jewish family. My mother’s side is Italian/Turkish and my father was Hungarian. Our kids are about as ‘mixed’ as you can get.”

mixed roots report, day one

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I wish I had been able to get this up sooner, but I needed a couple of days to process all of the magnificence that was the Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival.  It was kind of magical.  I think I’d been waiting 32 years 7 months and 10 days to get to a place where everyone was like me and, without questions or explanations, understood who I am.  Not just half of who I am.

I arrived a little late and, after a warm welcome from Fanshen and Heidi, my mom and I rushed in to catch some screenings that were already in progress.  I really enjoyed Kim Noonan’s Running Dragon and Mike Peden’s What are you? A Dialogue on Mixed Race.  I missed Maija DiGiorgio’s excerpt from Hollywood Outlaw, but so enjoyed her q&a session and her live performance the following evening.  Such talent!  You can watch the whole movie on youtube at hollywoodoutlawmovie.  I did.  Brilliant!

Next were readings. After moving pieces by Tameko Beyer and an especially great essay by Susan Ito,  Jennifer Lisa Vest had the audience in tears with her beautiful poetry.  Here is a sample of her work not taken from the festival…

Finally, Danzy Senna read from her new memoir Where Did You Sleep Last Night? OMG, Danzy Senna!  If you read my “biracial books” post, you know I love her for Caucasia.  The reading was hilarious and meeting her was great!  I bought the book and can’t wait to read it.

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That night was the Loving Day Celebration honoring the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in the Loving v. Virginia case that legalized interracial marriage nationwide.  It was so fun!  Meeting so many of the wonderful people I’ve connected with online in the last year was more gratifying than I had imagined it would be.  Having my mom and my (step)sister Megan there was icing on the cake.  There actually was cake.  It was good!  To be continued…

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